Today the media got a chance to talk with Timberwolves players and the new coach. The only player not in attendance today was Martell Webster. Unfortunately Martell is out with an injury indefinitely. He reportedly had offseason back surgery on September 28th--the same kind of surgery he had last season. Last year he missed 36 games!
The Wolves got started early in the day with media day. They spoke with the new head coach Rick Adelman. He was asked a number of different questions. When asked if he felt the Wolves needed to add some veterans to the roster, he replied "I hope so. We're looking all the time to see who's out there, who's available." The Wolves' biggest need--some wing playmakers. There are some veteran additions the Wolves were looking at earlier this week, you can now cross off the list--Shane Battier (signed with Miami), Chuck Hayes (signed with Sacramento) and Von Wafer (sign-and-trade to Orlando). We'll get to more free agency talk later though...
More on Adelman, he feels there are two things the Timberwolves need to do better: decision making & ball handling. Obviously defense is the main thing they need to do better. Adelman says teaching starts at the defensive end. Rick called last season's team "horrendous", says Houston got pretty much whatever they wanted. Following media day the Wolves got their first practice together. "First time we've seen 'em play. I like their attitude. I like the way that they competed. We have to keep going each practice. The scrimmage was really ragged, which is typical. We kind of let it go to see how they'd react," Adelman says. A big concern with any team, is the conditioning. After an extended offseason and the uncertainty that there would even be a season, out of shape players wouldn't seem too unlikely. "I don't think their conditioning is bad, but that's maybe something we'll have to scrimmage more," Adelman said following the first day of practice.
Ricky Rubio arrived at the practice facility today and the first thing he did before going to media day, was walk into the locker room and see his brand new Minnesota Timberwolves jersey. He immediately took a picture of it on his phone and texted the photo to some of his friends. Wanted to let them know, HE'S MADE IT TO THE NBA! This was also the first day he got to meet his new coach Rick Adelman. Five minutes after meeting him, Rubio says: "I really don't know him as a person, but I've seen him on all those teams." The one consistent opinion his new teammates had on him was that he was an incredible passer, who's going to be a lot of fun to play with. Ricky's take: "I can pass ball wherever and they catch it. It makes me look like an amazing passer." When asked if he was ready for the disappointment of losing this season, Ricky replied: "I hope we don't get disappointed." I know I feel 100%, the same way. Following the team's first practice (over 4 hours) "Great. Tired, but it went great." Rick Adelman had his own opinion on how he felt Ricky's first day went: "I like the way he handles the ball. I like the way he defends. I think he has to be careful with his hands defensively."
Some tidbits from some of the other Timberwolves' main guys... Kevin Love talked with the media this past weekend and you can find that information in a previous post on this page or by clicking on Kevin Love under the roster section of this site! However, while talking with the media today, he did have this to add on Ricky Rubio's superb passing ability: "He can pass the shit out of the ball!" Haha, cameras & mics rolling all the while! Love also talked briefly about an hour long conversation him & Rick Adelman had, where they talked about the team and about Love possibly playing some center this season. He also noted that the Wolves will have a very defensive-heavy focus in training camp.
The media also spoke with Michael Beasley for a while. As always, he was quite a character. He did comment on Kevin Love's weight loss..."See that guy? He's sexy, huh?" Of course the conversation quickly went to his summer troubles--speeding, marijuana possession etc. "I'm not here to talk about past issues." He did however, have a message for the fans: "Hi fans!" Like I said and we all know--he's a character! As noted in a previous post; Beasley, Kevin Love & Anthony Randolph are all up for extensions this season, if not, they'll be come restricted free agents this summer. Beasley says he'd "love" to sign an extension with Minnesota, but said he isn't thinking--or talking more--about it.
Some other notes from some of the other players at media day. Darko Milicic was asked about his training and what kind of shape he's currently in, he says he worked a lot in the offseason with some of the American players that had come overseas, he did a lot of the same things, just a lot more of everything! Wayne Ellington says he spent the lockout working out, getting better, becoming a better ball handler and working on his jump shots. Lazar Hayward also put in work with some pilates & yoga beyond the usual weight training and shooting.
Some miscellaneous notes for you: draft-day acquired center--Brad Miller is currently out recovering from knee surgery, however he hopes to get clearance from his doctor within the next two weeks to return to the court--pegging a mid-to-late January return......With Martell Webster out, he could potentially be waived or amnestied to open up a roster spot, for a possible veteran guard......Luke Ridnour spent four months during the lockout in the hospital with one of his twin sons that was born last year and calls having his whole family back together, "a huge blessing"........Wayne Ellington & Anthony Tolliver who are both good friends with Rockets point guard Kyle Lowry, spoke with him about his former coach/their new coach Rick Adelman and Lowry replied, "You're going to love him!"........All 66 regular season games as well as the two preseason games will all be on WCCO Radio........in regards to the practice, word was, all the new assistants were very "hands on" & active with the players.....
That's all I've got for now, within the next hour or so, we'll have a bunch of pictures up on our site under the media--pictures section from today's practice & media day! Thanks for reading and remember to check back daily for all you Timberwolves news, information & updates all year round. GO WOLVES!